The resort collections have become more important than ever for major fashion houses—and we’re not just talking about sales. The presentations themselves, once relegated to musty showrooms, are becoming star-studded, over-the-top affairs. Last night in Paris, Ferragamo’s Massimiliano Giornetti showed a striking collection of fringed skirts, sexy crochet dresses, and whip-stitched jackets that he said celebrated artistry and craftsmanship. The clothes were as dramatic as the venue in which they were paraded: the Denon wing colonnade of the Louvre Museum.

Ferragamo gained access to the hallowed French institution by sponsoring an exhibition on Saint Anne (a.k.a. Jesus’ grandmother), where the piece de resistance is Leonardo da Vinci’s recently restored “Virgin and Child With Saint Anne.” The exhibit, which will be on view until June 25, features not just Da Vinci’s masterpiece but also his preparatory sketches as well as works on Saint Anne by artists like Eugène Delacroix and Edgar Degas. Last night, though, as Freida Pinto, Hillary Swank, and other Ferragamo-clad guests from all over the world filed for champagne and dinner under I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid in the Louvre’s courtyard, the atmosphere was decidedly more sexy than saintly.
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Click here to watch video from the Salvatore Ferragamo Resort 2013 collection.

Photos: Runway: Fairchild Collection; all others: Billy Farrell Agency